So you have met the man of your dreams, you cherish each and every moment that you spend together, you are so compatible that it’s untrue. You laugh at the same jokes, enjoy the same films, and have read the same books and the sexual chemistry between you almost sizzles. Wow. It sounds perfect, apart from one nagging blight on the horizon. You both have children from your previous relationships and you know that the time is getting closer for the families to start to merge and this makes you nervous.
Children are unpredictable, more so because your children and his have endured a lot emotionally. You know what your family unit has been through since the break-up of your relationship and you can only assume that your partner’s children experienced similar. You may be scared that the introductions are just not going to go well. It’s daunting because your secret fear is that it could overshadow your new relationship and make it difficult for you to take the relationship further.
It’s understandable that you feel concerned but a lot of the difficulties that you might face are dependent on the age of the children involved. What you have to remember of course is that children are much more resilient than you might think. As much as they are often opposed to change, they are able to adapt fairly easily providing it’s handled in the right way.
Children can throw a spanner in your romantic works whatever their ages but more so if they are older because they do tend to become more set in their ways. Take this into consideration when you make the first introductions. Don’t just rush in as a new couple boldly announcing your love. If you have concerns, talk to each other; relish the time together before your families get involved.
It is unwise to just spring the news of your new romantic interest on your children especially if they are still reeling from the shock of your divorce or struggling to come to terms with having to visit their father and adapting to this new way of life. Your introduction should be intuitive too. You know your children and you know instinctively how to relay this type of information to them.
Think about it. Are they likely to be happy for you? Will the news bring home the fact that the relationship you had with their father is well and truly over? Will they feel a little jealous? Or afraid? Will they feel guilty and wonder what their father will say or do? All of these questions must be answered, so your approach must be completely sensitive to their needs.
You must make them aware that having a new man in your life is a natural progression and that you care about this new man and that their approval is important. Reassure them that it bears no reflection on your love for them. Do not promise however that your new partner will not ever move in because this is not a promise that you cannot make. If you later go back on your word, your family will stop trusting you.
It’s a good idea to arrange some family days out, choose somewhere neutral where your children can just relax and get to know each other without it seeming like a formal introduction. If you all turn up at either your house or your new partners, it will just add a great deal of unnecessary pressure to this first introduction. Make it a fun day out and also ensure that you keep your hands off your partner, as difficult as it might be because you are madly in love, being too romantic is just going to make your children feel horribly embarrassed.
Children can be very intuitive and they will feel much happier and contented if they feel that you are happy. It’s important to give your children time to adapt to your new romance, don’t expect them to fall wildly in love with your partner just because you have. The first steps should be tentative ones where your children learn to like and to trust your partner and once these foundations have been formed, you will be on solid ground romantically speaking.
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